Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday at the Table: Roasting Your Own Coffee Beans

When Debbie, at A Quilter's Table announced that this week she'd focus on beverages and appetizers, I wasn't really sure what I'd write about.  Then I remember a prior post I'd done a few years ago about coffee roasting.  Since moving from Michigan back to Oregon, I haven't roasted any coffee (the glass roasting bin cracked during the move).  But we did get a replacement, and who knows, maybe I'll start roasting again, as coffee prices have really gone up in the last year or so.

I started roasting my own coffee several years ago as a way to save money. I wanted to drink organic fair trade coffee, but the price for such was so expensive. I don't remember where I found out about coffee roasting, but somehow found and decided to buy a small coffee roaster from Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting Company. In Oregon, getting good coffee was never an issue. My kids' earliest memories must include regular trips  through numerous coffee drive-through stands that are scattered through out Southern Oregon.

The world of coffee can be compared to the wine world. There are so many varieties, so many regions, several ways to process the coffee cherry to make the green bean. Each variety and region has it's own flavor and characteristics. It's really an interesting subject.

When we moved to Northern Michigan I came to depend on my coffee roaster to make my own coffee. In small town rural Northern Michigan,  it was hard to find the same quality of coffee I had gotten used to in Oregon. It's so much better, and cheaper. I have control over the coffee, where it comes from, how long I roast it, etc... Sure it's a bit of effort, but well worth it.

And it's not rocket science. You simply put the green beans in the roaster and turn the timer on. You have to know the different roasting levels... As the beans roast, they expand, and "crack". It sounds a bit like pop-corn popping. After the first crack, the beans can be ready to grind into coffee, if you like that style. They'll be light brown. Most people prefer a fuller bodied coffee though and continue the roasting a bit further. If you roast long enough, you'll get to the "second crack" stage. Once again, the beans make their distinctive crack, but this time the oils in the coffee bean are released. This makes it very easy for them to burn. Not good. Once that second crack is done, you need to remove them from the heat and cool them. Then your fresh home-roasted coffee is ready to brew into my favorite beverage... Mmmm coffee....


  1. I am VERY intrigued with the concept of home roasting! Good coffee is not a problem in Vancouver, either, but this is sooo cool!

  2. Yes, one of the things we see here are many different coffees... from many different countries!!!! We get them roasted... though... I don't have enough hours in my day as it is!!!! I bet the smell of fresh roasted coffee makes you want a bite.

  3. I have never heard of anyone roasting their own coffee at home! SO interesting! Thanks for sharing this...off to tell hubby about it! ;-) Oh and thanks for linking up to the {summer} table!!

  4. I am not a coffee drinker but this is so interesting!